Very happy that Pasha is now back in the studio after spending the last three weeks traveling around the country with his students doing Pro/Am competitions. So, we discussed how to not look like a spaghetti by: exerting more control over my body; finding my center and keeping it solid; being grounded (instead of thinking about dancing as akin to flying — it only looks that way and humans really can’t fly); thinking about the lines I’m trying to create; and deciding the character of the piece — ie: I am a girl in love, not a swan, so no flapping arm-wings… He also made me feel much better about not being able to developee my leg all the way up near my head yet, telling me it’s one of the hardest things to do in ballet because it requires great strength and control, and not just flexibility, like it looks.
On the other hand, Luis showed me this crazy overhead lift he wants me to do with him that looks similar to the Bird from Dirty Dancing, but is supposedly easier since I’m pressing down on his shoulders from above and he’s supporting my hips. We tried it but I’m just so scared to go over his head! So, I only went halfway up. He assured me he was strong and told me he wouldn’t do anything with me that he didn’t know I could do and the only thing holding me back was my fear. How do female dancers get rid of those fears?!!! He also wants me to do this cartwheel over his head and land in this Firebird-looking position on his back. Yikes — I’ve been dancing barely two years now and have no gymnastics background! So, anyway, my task over the next week and a half while I’m out of the studio and in Blackpool is to try hard to overcome my fears.
I want to try one of those hand-free fishes, where the girl is in a fish dive and the guy lets go and she holds onto him with her leg wrapped around his back — don’t know exactly what they’re called. No one seems to know what I’m talking about and the way I describe it, they say it sounds physically impossible, which it probably is for me now… But it can’t possibly be as hard as flying over the guy’s head! I’ll have to bring to the studio the picture of Marcelo Gomes and Gillian Murphy doing it in The Ballet Book.
Speaking of which, Monday night is ABT’s opening gala! And next Friday begins Blackpool!! So many exciting things…